When you get your pet home, examine the wound closely so that you have a basis for later comparison. It should look reasonably clean and dry, without very much redness or swelling. You need to look at the wound each day to check it for signs of infection.
All wounds have the possibility of becoming infected, no matter how clean they may look at first. You will have to watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, excessive warmth, or fluid weeping from the wound. If you notice any of these signs, you should contact your usual veterinarian promptly.
Tips for caring for your pet’s wounds
1. IF THE WOUND HAS BEEN LEFT OPEN it is important to keep it open and draining. You can best do this by wiping it gently with a weak salt solution (750ml warm water plus 1 teaspoon of table salt). Remove any scabs gently by soaking them loose. Do this each day.
2. IF SUTURES HAVE BEEN PLACED check that the sutures are not cutting into the skin too tightly, as well as following instructions in the first two paragraphs above.
3. IF A DRAIN HAS BEEN PLACED wipe away the accumulated fluid and debris once or twice daily with a weak salt solution (see above). Also watch that your pet does not chew at the drain – if this is happening, please contact your usual vet promptly.
If your pet has been prescribed antibiotics, it is important that the entire course of medicine be given. If you cannot manage to give the medicine as directed, please contact your usual vet for further advice.
Written by Dr. Caitlin Logan